The four stages of Pride
From the geeked-out first-timer to the been-there-done-that ditcher, Pride-goers can expect fun for all phases.
It’s your first Chicago Pride, eh? You’re probably a young ’un who just moved from a place where being queer ain’t so cool, or perhaps you’re a late-life lesbian with a recently finalized divorce. Either way, welcome, girlfriend! If you’re the former, you’ll no doubt start your weekend by hitting the town Friday 24 and endlessly crisscrossing the intersection of Roscoe and Halsted Streets (a.k.a. gay ground zero) in a rainbow-colored haze. After waiting in line for an hour, you’ll find paradise at Roscoe’s (3356 N Halsted St, 773-281-3355), where the Lady Gaga single du jour will pull you onto the dance floor and you’ll make out with an “older guy” who’s 24. Next, you’ll hit up Cocktail (3359 N Halsted St, 773-477-1420) for its hunky go-go boys. After you imbibe one too many $12 Long Island iced tea carafes, the “straight” go-go you’re giving all your hard-earned singles to will push you off him for getting a little too handsy. You’ll end the evening shaking your naughty bits in the midnight shower contest at Spin (800 W Belmont Ave, 773-327-7711), where you’ll come in second place (behind the porn star who always wins).
In the harsh light of Saturday 25’s sobriety, you’ll regret that camera phones were ever invented, then hit Pride Fest (Halsted St and Waveland Ave, 773-868-3010; chicagoevents.com). There, you’ll check out the Kylie impersonator at the fest’s Drag Show, purchase a T-shirt that says mom, dad: i’m gaelic and stand cheek-to-jowl with a million other ’mos to watch Crystal Waters belt it out, even though you have no idea who she is. Your head will spin from the slushie you inhale at Sidetrack (3349 N Halsted St, 773-477-9189) later that night, which you’ll later purge on the sidewalk at around 3am.
The morning of Sunday 26 will be rough. You’ll have no idea how to get to Boystown from the stranger’s bed you’ve woken up in and will barely have time to dole out a fake cell number before cabbing it back to Halsted Street to watch the Pride Parade eight people deep, even though there are much better vantage points on Broadway. You’ll feel an adrenaline rush from the women’s motorcycle contingent (a.k.a. Dykes on Bikes), cry at PFLAG, catch every condom that’s thrown at you and return home to blog about the best weekend of your glittery, gay new life.